About Us

  • Intro
  • History
  • Board Members
  • Staff Members
  • Employment
What is the Forward Edge?

We believe…

Every individual was made for the same purpose…to do good. “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do,” Ephesians 2:10.

Nothing will bring us greater fulfillment than joining God in the amazing things He is doing in this world. This is what we were designed for!

You might say that loving God by doing good for others is our mission as followers of Christ. We at Forward Edge want to help people live out their unique, God-given mission…all types of people…children oppressed by extreme poverty…families hindered by devastating disasters…ordinary Christ-followers looking to put their faith into action.

If you’re interested in experiencing more deeply who God is, who you are, and what God can do through you, then consider getting involved with Forward Edge. We’d make a great team!

Our Mission

Partnering with God to transform the lives of vulnerable children, disaster victims, and those who go to serve them.

Our Vision

To see vulnerable children cared for, disaster victims restored, and everyone involved with Forward Edge discovering and pursuing God’s plan for their lives.

Core Values

1. God Initiated — Glorify God and further His purposes by responding to HIS initiatives.

2. Servanthood — Have the same attitude Jesus had (Phil. 2).

3. Relationships — Love people more than projects.

4. Meeting Needs — Address the needs of the poor, the marginalized and the overlooked.

5. Participation — Provide opportunities for ordinary people to participate firsthand in furthering God’s kingdom.

6. Changed Lives — Provide opportunities that result in personal transformation.

7. Partnership — Build and maintain meaningful partnerships.

8. Empowering Nationals — Don’t do things for people; do things with people.

9. Integrity — Live lives consistent with our professed beliefs.

10. Stewardship — Wisely steward God’s resources.

Statement of Faith

1. We believe in God the Father, who through Christ created the heavens and earth, who is perfect in holiness, infinite in wisdom, measureless in power.

2. We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, fully God and fully man, conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, sinless in this life, making atonement for the sins of the world by His death on the cross.

3. We believe in His resurrection, His ascension into heaven, and His high-priestly intercession for His people that they may experience full salvation and His indwelling presence.

4. We believe in His personal, visible return to earth according to His promise.

5. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Godhead, sent to convict the world of sin, and to regenerate, sanctify and empower those who believe in Jesus Christ.

6. We believe that all people by nature and by choice are sinners, but that God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

7. We believe that those who put their faith in Christ as Lord and Savior will rejoice in God’s presence for eternity, but those who refuse to put their trust in Him will be forever separated from Him.

8. We believe that the Bible is God’s Word, divinely and uniquely inspired, absolutely trustworthy, and having supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.

9. We believe in the Church, the body of Christ, of which Christ Himself is the Head, and of which all regenerated people are members.

10. We believe that Christ commissioned the Church to proclaim the gospel in word and deed throughout the world, to encourage believers in the faith, and to teach and train believers in the principles of godly, fruitful living.

Financials

2015 Annual Report

2014 Form 990

2014 Annual Report

2014 Audited Financial Statements

Our Story

Forward Edge was birthed in 1983 as part of an international church-planting ministry that sent hundreds of long-term missionaries to plant churches in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America. For the first 22 years of our history—from 1983 to 2005—we were primarily a short-term missions agency engaged in a wide range of ministry activities. These activities included open-air evangelism in places like New York, the UK, and Russia; disaster-response work in the U.S., Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Sri Lanka; the provision of free medical care in Mexico and Nicaragua; and the construction of children’s homes in Guatemala and Nicaragua. During this period, we mobilized more than 10,000 short-term volunteers—primarily from U.S. churches and universities—to serve in many parts of the U.S., and 33 foreign countries.

In 2005, following Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast, Forward Edge transitioned from a short-term missions agency into a full-fledged relief and development organization. We now have scores of full-time field staff, and ongoing field programs directed by national leaders. While we continue to send 800 – 1,000 short-term volunteers annually, the majority of these volunteers serve in locations where we have ongoing programs: Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, and Kenya. This unique history has positioned us to not only understand what it takes to provide meaningful, cross-cultural experiences for those serving on our mission trips, but mission opportunities that strategically support ongoing programs in the field. We invite you to be part of this unique and ever-unfolding story!

History

Click the arrows below or the thumbnail circles below to browse through significant milestones in Forward Edge’s history.

The first Forward Edge mission team served in Prato, Italy in October, 1983. Team members served at a home for young, Italian drug addicts, and shared the gospel in the local piazzas.
Throughout the 1980s, Forward Edge teams helped construct children’s homes, like this one in Guatemala.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Forward Edge evangelism teams shared the good news of Jesus with people in the UK, China, Cuba, Russia, Romania, and at numerous Summer Olympic Games.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Forward Edge teams shared the gospel among unreached people groups in places like Nepal and Tibet.
A 1985 Forward Edge dental team provided care to scores of villagers in the remote highlands of Guatemala.
The first Forward Edge medical team served in Nicaragua in 1986.
Throughout the 1990s, Forward Edge teams served on several U.S. Indian reservations, including the Crow (Montana), Navajo (New Mexico), and White Mountain Apache (Arizona).
The first Forward Edge disaster-response team served in Florida following Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
For several years after the 1999 Balkan War, Forward Edge teams came to the aid of widows and orphans in Kosovo.
In the days, weeks and months following 9/11, approximately 200 Forward Edge volunteers served at ground zero in NYC, preparing meals for workers, and manning “prayer stations” on nearby sidewalks.
In the early 2000s, Forward Edge teams served the materially poor in Oaxaca, Mexico by pouring concrete floors in their dirt-floor homes.
For many years, Forward Edge ophthalmology teams restored sight to blind villagers in Oaxaca, Mexico.
In 2004, Forward Edge began a partnership with Mama Beth Children’s Program in Kijabe, Kenya, a ministry that provides physical, emotional, and spiritual support to scores of at-risk children.
After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Forward Edge sent more than 3,000 volunteers to the Gulf Coast to help Katrina victims rebuild their homes and lives.
In 2008, Forward Edge initiated a safe-water project on the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua, the poorest region in Latin America. Seven wells were drilled, providing safe drinking water to thousands.
In 2008, Forward Edge opened the doors of Villa Esperanza (Hope Village), Forward Edge’s home for girls rescued from a Managua, Nicaragua garbage dump.
Forward Edge sent more than 1,000 volunteers to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people.
From 2010-2014, Forward Edge domestic disaster-response teams served flood, tornado, and hurricane victims in Alabama, Colorado, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. Disaster-response teams also served internationally in the Philippines, Mexico, and Nepal.
In 2011, Forward Edge launched Trigo y Miel  (Wheat and Honey), a program for at-risk children in Oaxaca, Mexico.
In 2013, Forward Edge launched Nouvo Lavi, a program for at-risk children in Haiti.

Forward Edge Board of Directors

Forward Edge is governed by a highly qualified and engaged board of directors. They provide inspiration, guidance, and support of our president; stewardship and accountability in the areas of mission, vision, values, strategy, and policy; legal and financial due diligence; as well as personal financial support, and—through example and influence—encouragement of others to give in support of our mission. We’re blessed to have men and women with integrity, compassion, spiritual discernment, and giving hearts serving on our board!  

Brad Fenison

Chairman of the Board
Bio

Brad Fenison

Chairman of the Board

Bio: Brad Fenison is the CEO and owner of The Pediment Group, Inc., a book publishing company in Battle Ground, Washington. He started the company in 1997 after 13 years in the newspaper industry as publisher of newspapers in Oregon, Washington and Minnesota. His company specializes in high-end, coffee-table books, including pictorial histories, sports championship books, and disaster books. Brad and his wife of 34 years, Wendy, have two grown children, Chris and Ashley, and five grandchildren. Brad joined Forward Edge International’s board of directors in 2005.    

What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge? Founder Joseph Anfuso and I had kids in the same private school and would get together over coffee to discuss Forward Edge. Joseph’s passion and vision for the mission of Forward Edge were inspiring and our discussions were always enjoyable and productive. In 2005 he asked me to consider serving on the board and I didn’t hesitate. It has been an honor to serve and to watch the organization grow.    

 

 

Board Members


David Andersen

Bio

David Andersen

Bio: David is CEO of Andersen Construction Company, a $650 million per year Construction Manager and General Contractor operating in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California, Montana, and Alaska. David graduated from Oregon State University where he obtained a degree in Business Management and a minor in Construction Engineering Management. He is a father to three and is happily married to his wife, Glenda.

Current Affiliations
• Association of General Contractors Board (2001 Chapter President)
• Forward Edge International Advisory Board
• George Fox University Advisory Board
• Oregon State University Construction Education Foundation Board
• Oregon State University College of Business Dean Advisory Council
• Port of Portland Mentor Protege Advisory Board

What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge? Forward Edge’s compassion in helping disaster victims put their lives back together and their commitment to doing Christ-centered work helped draw me in.

Joseph Anfuso

Founder & President
Bio

Joseph Anfuso

Founder & President

A native New Yorker, Joseph has been living on the West Coast since 1977. After surrendering his life to Christ in 1974, he served for more than 20 years with an international church-planting ministry. Joseph founded Forward Edge in 1983. In 1989, he and his wife Karen and their three children moved from California to Vancouver, Washington where Forward Edge is now based.

After graduating from Rutgers College in 1970 with a degree in English Literature, Joseph traveled extensively, including a motorcycle trip from Athens to London, and an overland journey to India. Over the years, he has visited more than 50 foreign countries: leading mission teams, pioneering new ministry locations, and providing encouragement and support to Forward Edge field staff.
 
Joseph is also the author of several books, including Message in a Body (his memoir), and his latest book, The Best Story of Your Life.
 
What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge?
The conviction that inspired me to start Forward Edge is encapsulated in Eph. 4:10-“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” I love Forward Edge’s commitment to helping its short-term missionaries, its field staff, and those they serve, hear and respond to God’s call! 

Karen Anfuso

Secretary
Bio

Karen Anfuso

Secretary

Karen has been serving as Board Secretary since 1996. She also served for many years in the Forward Edge accounting department, and prior to that as Executive Assistant to the Superintendent of Portland Christian Schools.

Over the years, Karen has served on Forward Edge mission teams to many parts of the U.S. and overseas, including Guatemala, Nicaragua, Kosovo, England, Scotland, Mexico, and the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina.

Karen’s gifts of wisdom and encouragement have blessed many over the years, and her bubbly personality can light up a room. She and Joseph have three grown children, Heather, Ryan and Katelyn, and five grandchildren, all girls.

Bruce Frydenlund

Bio

Bruce Frydenlund

Bruce is the founder and COO of EventBuilder, a virtual event management company based in Portland, Oregon. Bruce has been to Nicaragua on five different mission trips and has been fortunate to see Villa Esperanza grow from an idea to a wonderful reality. His first mission trip was to help rebuild the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. His business career has revolved around building communications tools and services to help large, geographically disbursed work populations communicate effectively. Bruce is married with three children and two grandchildren.    

What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge?
God has always given me a soft spot for children and people who are forgotten. And I love the “why” behind what Forward Edge does: helping people live what they were created for, which is to join with God in doing good works (Eph. 2:10). I love the idea of worshiping God with others by doing what we were created to do together.    

Ravi Jayakaran

Bio

Ravi Jayakaran

Bio: Dr. Ravi Jayakaran has well over three decades of experience in International poverty reduction and strategic development programs. He is the Director of Community Transformations for e3 Partners/I am Second. He is also the Senior Associate for Integral Missions for the Lausanne Movement. Dr. Jayakaran has worked in senior management positions in the corporate sector, international NGOs, the Asian Development Bank and the UNDP. He has lived and worked long term in India, Cambodia, China and the U.S., and provided technical support in more than 23 countries. Ravi and his wife Vimla recently celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary.      

What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge? The life and testimony of the founder, Joseph Anfuso, and the vision and mission of the organization. Then I visited projects in Mexico and Nicaragua- and now, I am a lifelong friend of Forward Edge.

 

John Greholver

Treasurer
Bio

John Greholver

Treasurer

Bio: John is a retired Salvation Army Major and one of the early Forward Edge board members. He has an MBA in Organizational Psychology and Development, and has worked with many Christian organizations over the years. He currently resides with his wife Lynda in Ridgefield, Washington.

What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge? I was very impressed with the vision of Joseph Anfuso and Forward Edge in getting members of local churches to participate in hands-on work with programs around the world. These volunteers provided encouragement and practical support, while at the same time sharing their faith and being exposed to the great needs around the world.        

 

Don Moen

Bio

Don Moen

Don has worked in Information Technology since 1986, most recently with Alaska Airlines. He was also ordained a pastor in 1988, and for many years has co-led a monthly church service at the local county jail. 

Don and his wife Donna have long felt called to “the equipping of the saints”, as described in Ephesians 4:12. They consider it a privilege to serve believers and unbelievers alike through the ministry of Forward Edge. They have facilitated numerous teams with Forward Edge, in the U.S. and abroad, beginning in 1992. They treasure the lasting friendships they’ve developed in the countries where they’ve served. Over the years they have also provided facilitator mentoring and training at yearly Forward Edge conferences.

Don and Donna live near Seattle, Washington and have two grown children and one grandchild.

Donna Moen

Bio

Donna Moen

Donna is a gifted water colorist who has painted professionally since 1980. She has been active in her community through art, having chaired a local art festival for nine years and managed a cooperative art gallery in Gig Harbor, Washington. 

Donna and her husband Don have long felt called to “the equipping of the saints”, as described in Ephesians 4:12. They consider it a privilege to serve believers and unbelievers alike through the ministry of Forward Edge International. They’ve facilitated numerous teams with Forward Edge, in the US and abroad, beginning in 1992. They treasure the lasting friendships they’ve developed in the countries where they’ve served. Over the years they’ve also provided facilitator mentoring and training at yearly Forward Edge conferences.

Donna and Don live near Seattle, Washington and have two grown children and one grandchild.

Dan Vahalla

Vice President
Bio

Dan Vahalla

Vice President

Bio: Dan is an active member of his church, and has been helping with mission trips and events for much of his Christian life. His passion is getting involved with projects that eventually lead to self-sustainment. Dan has worked in high-tech marketing and sales since 1977. He has been married to Mary Vahalla since 1987 and they love to travel together. They have three adult children and one grandchild. Dan enjoys sports of all kinds, including golf, basketball, fly fishing, and an occasional triathlon. He has also participated for many years on the United States Senior Basketball Team, competing in tournaments in the U.S. and around the world. 

What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge? Forward Edge’s philosophy parallels my vision of how mission work should be done. And that’s by providing enough help to empower people to be able to eventually help themselves, and glorify Jesus.

Mary Vahalla

Bio

Mary Vahalla

Bio: Mary has been married to her husband Dan for 39 years, and they have raised their three children in Southern California. She is also the proud Nana of their one-year-old grandson. She has been involved in missions for many years through her church. Mary’s love for travel and love for our Lord couples together nicely as she travels wherever she feels she is being called. She has been on the board since 2013 and  is excited to see how God is growing Forward Edge and where His plans will take us.

What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge? I was drawn to Forward Edge immediately after hearing their story. I have served in the mission field all around the world and know the value of answering God’s call to be a part of His Kingdom plan.

The Forward Edge team

The Forward Edge Staff is made up of highly capable and committed members at the International Headquarters (IHQ) in Vancouver, WA and in our various Field Locations.

Every Forward Edge staff member considers it an honor to be part of what God is doing through this ministry. It is, in fact, His ministry, and not ours. God is the one transforming the lives of children, disaster victims and those who go to serve them. It’s a privilege to join Forward Edge donors and volunteers as His hands and feet to accomplish His amazing work through this ministry.

Joseph Anfuso

Founder and President
Bio

Joseph Anfuso

Founder and President

A native New Yorker, Joseph has been living on the West Coast since 1977. After surrendering his life to Christ in 1974, he served for more than 20 years with an international church-planting ministry. Joseph founded Forward Edge in 1983. In 1989, he and his wife Karen and their three children moved from California to Vancouver, Washington where Forward Edge is now based.

After graduating from Rutgers College in 1970 with a degree in English Literature, Joseph traveled extensively, including a motorcycle trip from Athens to London, and an overland journey to India. Over the years, he has visited more than 60 foreign countries: leading mission teams, pioneering new ministry locations, and providing encouragement and support to Forward Edge field staff.
 
Joseph is also the author of several books, including Message in a Body (his memoir), and his latest book, The Best Story of Your Life.
 
What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge?
The conviction that inspired me to start Forward Edge is encapsulated in Eph. 4:10-“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” I love Forward Edge’s commitment to helping its short-term missionaries, its field staff, and those they serve, hear and respond to God’s call!
 
If you could meet anyone…
King David…a flawed human being–guilty of such heinous acts–yet “a man after God’s own heart.”
 
 

Forward Edge IHQ Staff

 

Management


Jeff Thompson

Senior Program Officer - Nicaragua, Kenya and US
Bio

Jeff Thompson

Senior Program Officer - Nicaragua, Kenya and US

Jeff has been passionate about missions since his first mission trip to the jungle highlands of Papua New Guinea in 1987.  From that point on, his life would never be the same.  Since then he has served on short-term teams in over 16 countries. Jeff, along with his wife Kris, started working full-time with Forward Edge in 2006, coordinating volunteers in the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina for three years. When that assignment was completed, they served in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua for three-and-a-half years. In 2013, they moved to the Vancouver, Washington area to serve in Forward Edge’s International Headquarters.

What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge?
I was first exposed to Forward Edge through my son’s mission trip to Mexico in 1991 because our youth pastor worked part time for FEI as a Youth Team Coordinator. Our best friends, Don and Donna Moen, also invited us to attend Forward Edge’s annual benefit dinners and retreats where we learned to value the principles Joseph and Karen Anfuso lived and Forward Edge taught.    

If you could have dinner with any person in history (excluding Jesus) who would it be and why?
I would like to have dinner with Martin Luther and discuss with him how God inspired him to risk it all and say “yes” to Jesus’ calling on his life.               

What is something about you others are often surprised to learn?
That I’m an avid motorcycle rider.

Wendell Robinson

Senior Program Officer - Haiti, Cuba and Mexico
Bio

Wendell Robinson

Senior Program Officer - Haiti, Cuba and Mexico

Wendell joined Forward Edge in the summer of 2016. He has been married to his wife Lisa since 1990. They are the proud parents of three boys. He has more than a decade experience with international missions, including seven years as a missionary in Puerto Rico. He has also served in Africa, the Caribbean, North, South, and Central America. He is passionate about human development and has a strong belief in human potential. When he’s not hard at work you can catch him enjoying the great outdoors or taking long walks with his wife.

What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge?
Forward Edge is an organization that is sensitive to the leading of God’s Spirit. I learned about how they seek to leverage their gifts to touch the lives of at-risk children, their families, and the communities in which they live. They say it this way, “When God prompts us to do something and we respond with faith and obedience, even without knowing what lies ahead, we are stepping onto life’s forward edge”…just as Joshua did with the children of Israel at the edge of the River Jordan (Joshua 3:8). This ultimately drew me to the mission of Forward Edge.  

If you could have dinner with any person in history (excluding Jesus) who would it be and why?
I would have dinner with my great grandfather. He was a preacher and passed down a spiritual legacy that continues in me and my family. I’ve heard so much about him through my father and my late grandfather. I imagine sitting on the porch with him in the hot South after a good southern meal talking about how he has seen God at work in his time.                

What is something about you others are often surprised to learn?
That I love chitterlings.

Nicole Klepec

Director of Administration
Bio

Nicole Klepec

Director of Administration

Nicole has been with Forward Edge since 2010 when she began as a team coordinator. After five years of serving in that capacity, she moved into the Director of Administration role, which allows her to assist in all areas of the ministry. She is passionate about serving vulnerable children and has served in Mexico, Nicaragua and several domestic locations. Nicole is happily married to her husband, Gordon, and they have two beautiful children who keep them busy.       

What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge?
I was excited to have the opportunity to serve and work towards helping vulnerable children and their families to break the cycle of poverty within their communities and to give them a sense of hope for a better future.             

If you could have dinner with any person in history (excluding Jesus) who would it be and why?
I think it would be fascinating to have the opportunity to talk with Abraham Lincoln. He was so passionate and convicted that he took great risks to ensure the liberty of those who were oppressed. He was a leader who truly led based on what he knew to be right.         

What is something about you others are often surprised to learn?
I used to be a drama geek. I was in theater in high school and college and moved on to commercials and movies after that. I don’t have time for it anymore, but it was fun!

Tim Ainley

Development Manager
Bio

Tim Ainley

Development Manager

Tim Ainley joined the Forward Edge staff in the spring of 2010. He cherishes his beautiful wife, Ashley, and three wonderful children, Lamaya, Cambria and Gideon. Tim got the itch for ministry growing up as a pastor’s son in a Christ-following home, and has served in ministry for most of his adult life. Anyone who meets Tim discovers that he’s passionate about Jesus, his family and friends, missions, adoption, discipleship and camping ministry. Tim also enjoys traveling, sports, Star Wars, and playing board games.          

What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge?
God has always given me a soft spot for children and for people who are forgotten. I love that Forward Edge serves those people. I also love the “why” behind what Forward Edge does – to help people live what they were created for, which is to join Him in doing good works (Eph. 2:10). I love the idea of worshiping God with others by doing what we were created to do together.    

If you could have dinner with any person in history (excluding Jesus) who would it be and why?
Probably James, the brother of Jesus. It would be cool to hear stories about Jesus growing up. I’d also want to hear how he changed his mind about Jesus and what it was like starting the Church with Peter. My second choice would probably be Robin Williams.            

What is something about you others are often surprised to learn?
I can juggle and ride a unicycle. I used to be able to do both at the same time. Not sure I can anymore, though; it’s been years since I’ve tried.

 

Accounting and Administration


Kris Thompson

Missionary Care Coordinator
Bio

Kris Thompson

Missionary Care Coordinator

Kris’s first mission trip was to Kosovo in 2000. She came back so changed, she told her husband, “We have to move there they need us.” Although Kristeen and Jeff didn’t move there they both went back three more times. She has served in Trinidad, Nicaragua, New York after 911, and other places in the states. Both came into full time Missions for Forward Edge in 2006 after Katrina. They lived in Mississippi, and New Orleans, for three years serving and then called to Puerto Cabaezes Nicaragua for three and a half years. She now serves our missionaries as the Missionary Care Coordinator

What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge?
We came to know about Forward Edge through our oldest son’s youth Pastor. He went on a few trips and we liked what we saw. Then our good friends who are now board members started facilitating teams. We came to the annual fundraisers and the retreats. We saw ordinary people being changed through Forward Edge. Joseph and Karen were leaders we could trust. 

If you could have dinner with any person in history (excluding Jesus) who would it be and why?
Mother Teresa. Her love and how she served the people God put in her path was selfless.

What is something about you others are often surprised to learn?
I love to dance! One of my dreams while living in Hawaii was to join a halau and learn how to hula. I was granted that wish after we moved away. I was able to dance in competitions, exhibits, and dance more than I thought this little haole girl could.

Tim Jones

Controller
Bio

Tim Jones

Controller

Tim has spent most of his life in Portland, Oregon, with the exception of his early childhood in Hawaii. A Certified Public Accountant. Tim held a variety of accounting positions in the Distribution and Service industries, preparing him for his duties as Forward Edge’s controller. Tim put his “hands-on” skills to use in the mission field when he served in Guatemala helping with the construction of a church. All three of Tim’s children have benefited from short-term mission work as well. Tim and his wife Marcia have been married for 38 years. They have three children and five grandchildren.       

What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge?
The opportunity to apply my talents and experience through Forward Edge to impact the lives, and eternities, of those in need.                

If you could have dinner with any person in history (excluding Jesus) who would it be and why?
Richard Henry Dana, Jr.: An attorney who worked as a common sailor on a merchant marine ship in the 1830’s.  He later invested his wealth into the care of retired sailors and the evangelizing of those on the high seas. Author of “Two Years before the Mast”.          

What is something about you others are often surprised to learn?
I’ve written a novel, and book #2 is in progress of a planned trilogy. 

Jen Goheen

Bookkeeper
Bio

Jen Goheen

Bookkeeper

Jen’s first mission trip was in 2011 to Nicaragua. This experience changed her heart and led her to serve, love, and encourage disaster victims, including several outreaches with the Red Cross. She and her husband Ken enjoy serving on mission teams together. When not working, she likes to spend time outdoors, walking, hiking, and running.

What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge?
I have always had a heart for those who have been overlooked or forgotten. I believe God created us to be in community and we need to care for one another. Two of Forward Edge’s “Core Values” speak directly to my heart. The first one is, relationships, love people more than projects. The second is, empowering nationals, don’t do things for people; do things with people.

If you could have dinner with any person in history (excluding Jesus) who would it be and why?
The Apostle Paul. I like the way he communicates and often gives very practical examples of the ideas he is conveying.

What is something about you others are often surprised to learn?
My husband and I volunteer with the puppy raising program of Guide Dogs of America

Windsor Goheen

Assistant Bookkeeper
Bio

Windsor Goheen

Assistant Bookkeeper

Windsor Goheen joined the team along with Jen in the Spring of 2016. Windsor is adept at spreading smiles and napping for long periods of time. He dreams of someday becoming a guide dog and hopes to pass his training with flying colors. When not at work you can find Windsor eating grass, training to become a guide dog, chewing on toys or sleeping. 

 

Development


Dave Richardson

Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Bio

Dave Richardson

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Dave Richardson, a Vancouver Washington local graduated from Washington State University in 2013.  Dave has been able to gain valuable mission trip experience in South America, the Middle East, Mexico and here in the U.S. Dave previously worked as a Digital Marketing Strategist before joining the Forward Edge family. He now works in maintaining all of our communications from our social media to our newsletters and all of our mass emails.                  

What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge?
Forward Edge’s commitment to partner with locals combined with a long term vision in each location resonated strongly with me. Forward Edge’s pursuit of serving essentially “the least of these” and their understanding and push for each one of us to discover God’s plan on our lives also pushed me to really want to join the ministry.               

If you could have dinner with any person in history (excluding Jesus) who would it be and why?
There’s a rumor in my family that we’re direct descendants of Captain James Cook, the famous English explorer. I’d love to sit with him and hear about his experiences from around the world.              

What is something about you others are often surprised to learn?
One fun fact about me is that my mom and I share the same birthday, which also happens to be on a holiday – Valentine’s day.

TyAnn Hunt

Child Sponsorship Administrator
Bio

TyAnn Hunt

Child Sponsorship Administrator

TyAnn was raised and lived in sunny Southern California until 1995. In the aftermath of the infamous Northridge earthquake in 1994, she moved to Oregon to be near her sister and family. She loves the Pacific Northwest and now feels like a native Oregonian. After accepting Christ as a teenager, God began to put on TyAnn’s heart a burden for children living in poverty. She has since sponsored several children through various charitable organizations, done volunteer work and participated in short term mission trips to help spread the love of Jesus.          

What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge?
Over the last few years I realized that God was calling me to a still deeper involvement in missions work and I began to explore vocational opportunities. Through a series of divine appointments I was introduced to Forward Edge, and with an extensive administrative background, a passion for children, and a timely job-opening, I became a staff member shortly thereafter. 

If you could have dinner with any person in history (excluding Jesus) who would it be and why?
Well, since it can’t be Jesus, I’ll pick the apostle whom He loved, John. I love John’s heart in his writings and he would be the expert on all things Jesus. I’d also love to hear about Revelation directly from his lips and be able to ask him questions.             

What is something about you others are often surprised to learn?
I’ve been on TV a few times!

 

Mission Team Coordinators


Kelsey Rairigh

Nicaragua Team Coordinator
Bio

Kelsey Rairigh

Nicaragua Team Coordinator

Kelsey has lived in both California and Colorado, but now calls Portland, Oregon home. She has a passion for nutrition and the ability for meals to bring people together from all different backgrounds. Kelsey experienced her first mission trip to Nicaragua on the island of Ometepe and has since had a heart for serving and learning from the people of Central America. She hopes to one day be fluent in Spanish as she continues her studies of the language and culture.   

What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge?
I served on a mission trip to Nicaragua three years ago and I fell in love with the people and culture. They shaped my worldview and helped me grow my relationship with God. I was drawn to the heart behind Forward Edge in serving vulnerable children and disaster victims in places all over the world. I am excited to prepare others for the same vision! 

If you could have dinner with any person in history (excluding Jesus) who would it be and why?
I would have dinner with C.S. Lewis, his writings have had a large impact on my relationship with God and my imagination!

What is something about you others are often surprised to learn?
I love to rock climb; it is a perfect mix of exercise and excitement. I hope to one day return to Yosemite to climb.

Ashley Hughes

USA, Mexico & Cuba Team Coordinator
Bio

Ashley Hughes

USA, Mexico & Cuba Team Coordinator

Ashley grew up in a Christian home, and became interested in international missions at the age of 17. Over the past nine years she has gone on several short-term mission trips, each unique and life-changing. She has traveled to Mexico, Thailand, and Northern Iraq. Going to Iraq was one of the greatest highlights of her life. Spending time in a Muslim community, visiting Yazidi refugees and hearing their stories impacted her in a positive way.           

What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge?
After several years of experiencing missions from a team member’s perspective, I was excited to step into a new role as a Team Coordinator. I now have multiple opportunities to encourage team members as they prepared to go serve abroad. I also loved that Forward Edge is centered on Jesus Christ and serving others well.       

If you could have dinner with any person in history (excluding Jesus) who would it be and why?
If I could have dinner with any historical figure I would choose Corrie Ten Boom. She had incredible faith while suffering in a Nazi concentration camp.   

What is something about you others are often surprised to learn?
I don’t consider myself an avid runner, but I do enjoy a good, long run now and then. I’ve run a 5k and two 15k runs, and I plan to sign up for more in the future.

Tiffany Hearn

Haiti and Kenya Team Coordinator
Bio

Tiffany Hearn

Haiti and Kenya Team Coordinator

Tiffany has always had a passion for serving others and participated in her first international mission trip at the young age of thirteen. She has since traveled to eleven different countries. She’s compelled to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the lost, lonely, broken, hurting and forgotten. Tiffany is a former Women’s Minister, has years of pastoral care experience, and is the wife of a senior pastor. Whether ministering to precious souls globally or locally, Tiffany considers it a privilege to listen to their story, walk with them in their journey, and encourage them in the Lord.  

What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge?
I have a huge heart for missions and for ministry. When I heard about the work God was doing through FEI I knew this was a place and a people I longed to partner with! After many years of praying about where God would plant me once my sons started high-school, I now call Forward Edge “home”. I feel as though God orchestrated this opportunity with great care and a huge smile on His face.         

If you could have dinner with any person in history (excluding Jesus) who would it be and why?I would choose Noah’s wife because I can’t think of a better example of a “helpmate”. I’m sure she spent many countless years in intercession for Noah and trusted, encouraged, loved, supported and shepherded her husband’s heart as he followed God’s plan in the face of constant ridicule.

What is something about you others are often surprised to learn?
I am an only child married to the oldest of six. I am now “big sis” to eight younger siblings and Auntie Tiff to three. We’re one big happy family!

Mission Experience

  • Jamaica 1993
  • Venezuela 1995
  • Peru 1996
  • Italy 1997
  • New Orleans 2002-03
  • Russia 2005
  • Mexico 2006
  • Bahamas 2007
  • England 2010
  • Germany 2010
  • Haiti 2011
  • Israel 2014
  • Costa Rica 2015
 

Field Staff

 

Cuba


Karel Matos

Partner in Cuba
Bio

Karel Matos

Partner in Cuba

Pastor Karel Matos and his wife Rebeca joined Forward Edge in 2016 as ministry partners in Cuba.  He and Rebeca have been married since 2003 and live in Santiago de Cuba with their three daughters Rebeca, Ana and Victoria.

Pastor Karel holds a degree in Sport and Physical Culture from ISCFD Manuel Fajardo University in Santiago de Cuba, and in Juvenile Ministry from the Theological Seminary of Easter Cuba (TSEC). Currently he serves as Pastor, Founder and President of Joven @ Joven Ministry (Youth @ Youth Ministry), which he started in 2007. His work focuses on training leaders, investing in the spiritual growth of youth, giving aid to disaster victims and supporting Cuban churches that are helping vulnerable children and their families; it now includes partnering with Forward Edge to receive and lead teams who will support this ministry.

Pastor Karel has served in ministry in various positions in his career that has brought him national influence for the Gospel in Cuba.  He served 7 years with the Praising and Adoration Ministry “SOREC” through worship and preaching at churches, crusades and other campaigns across Cuba.  For 4 years Pastor Karel served with the Cuba Easter Baptist Convention Association (EBC), the legal entity that represents and leads the Baptist churches in eastern Cuba. He taught classes at TSEC for 2 years. Following a calling to pastoral ministry with youth, Pastor Karel accepted an invitation to be the youth pastor for the 4th Baptist Church in Santiago de Cuba. Shortly after taking this ministry, he also founded Joven @ Joven.  His ministry continues to extend to sharing the gospel nationally through camps, conferences and other channels for investing in new generations of Cuban Christians.

 

Haiti


Louighins Jean

Director of Nouvo Lavi
Bio

Louighins Jean

Director of Nouvo Lavi

Pastor Louighins Jean and Quenia represent Forward Edge International (FEI) in Haiti as part of a sponsorship program called Nouvo Lavi. Louighins is CEO of Cooperation of Evangelical Theologians for Integral Development of Humans (COTEDIH). Quenia is responsible for the coordination of programs and FEI teams in Haiti.

Louighins holds a license in Theological Sciences from Evangelical Seminary of Theology of Port-au-Prince, a diploma of Accounting from Management Accounting Technical Center and Computer Science. He also received a certificate from the United Nations Mission in Haiti for monitoring of training courses and response to disasters. His wife Quenia holds a license in accounting from the University of Haiti. After graduating in Theological Sciences, Louighins was called by God to serve as Pastor of Evangelical Baptist Church of Meyotte for 7 years. Currently Louighins and Quenia, as directors of COTEDIH and FEI representatives in Haiti, are working with over 50 pastors and churches, 20 schools, 40 communities and 830 children who are really in need.

Meyotte is a new location for FEI. The ministry there is focused on rebuilding homes for victims of the earthquake in 2010, reconstruction of schools and churches, distribution of food to poor families, education for children and providing health care. The vision of this couple with collaboration of FEI teams is to broaden Nouvo Lavi program across all regions of Haiti, match sponsors with all of the children, train leaders, provide health care throughout the country and develop Haitian communities in spiritual, educational, socio-economic and cultural views by creating educational and vocational centers so that young people can learn the skills necessary to have a job and work to build their future. Quenia and Louighins have recently become new parents with the arrival of their baby boy Shadrach in February 2015!

 

Kenya


Jane Wathagana

Mama Beth Children’s Program Director
Bio

Jane Wathagana

Mama Beth Children’s Program Director

Bio: Jane is a native Kenyan who was born in Kijabe. Her family didn’t have much, clothes and food were scarce as her mother was a single parent raising twelve children. Her passion for children really grew once her mother, Mama Beth, could no longer take care of the children in her program. Since 2006 she’s overseen the ministry at Mama Beth’s and taking care of the roughly 70 children in the program. Jane loves to see the growth of young people and she believes in the potential they have.  

What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge?  I was drawn to the mission of Forward Edge because of their focus on vulnerable children. In addition to this, Forward Edge believes just as I do that education is the key to rescuing lives from poverty.

If you could have dinner with any person in history (excluding Jesus) who would it be and why?

Nelson Mandela. He believes the same thing as I do. That Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. That’s why I’m so passionate about changing the poor conditions of our local schools and creating a space where the children can get quality education.

What is something about you others are often surprised to learn?

That despite a successful business, I have chosen to work with the poor and vulnerable.

Kennedy Muniu

Field Coordinator
Bio

Kennedy Muniu

Field Coordinator

Kennedy was born in Central Kenya near Mt. Kenya. Growing up in the rural environment of Central Kenya involved chores such as vegetable gardening, raising chickens, goats and cows, and picking tea. Though he did not know what profession would best suit his needs, Kennedy discovered that one day he would want to give back to the community and especially those children who experience the worst extremes of poverty. Kennedy volunteered to design a website for Mama Beth’s Children’s Program at Kijabe. After college, Kennedy finally found a career path that would suit his interests and desires. He was employed as an IT & Administration Assistant by Chosen Children of Promise (CCP), where he worked for about three years. Now he is privileged to serve with MBCP.

 

Mexico


Victor & Lety Velasco

Directors of Trigo y Miel
Bio

Victor & Lety Velasco

Directors of Trigo y Miel

Bio: Victor and Lety, both natives of Oaxaca, Mexico, have 15 years of pastoral experience. In 2006 God called both of them to work in a children’s ministry that is now known as Trigo y Miel (Wheat and Honey). Since then, they have experienced God’s deep love and provision for the children and for themselves. Victor and Lety work to provide food, education, healthcare, and the teachings of biblical principles through the presentation of the Gospel.

What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge?

Forward Edge is dedicated to a holistic approach and that’s something that we deeply believe in – it’s what drew us initially to the ministry. We are now compelled and excited by getting to belong to this group of men and women passionate about serving God and His people.

If you could have dinner with any person in history (excluding Jesus) who would it be and why? We would dine with Joseph Anfuso, Nicole Klepec and Jeff Thompson. We can learn a lot from each of them.

What is something about you others are often surprised to learn? People are often surprised by our large sense of humor.

Tom & Wendy Hogan

Field Coordinators
Bio

Tom & Wendy Hogan

Field Coordinators

Bio: The Hogans have been serving in Oaxaca since 2008, and love what God is doing there!  Their passion is to share the Love of God in practical ways, and to see people walking in their Freedom in Christ, experiencing God’s presence every day.  They have been involved in missions for many years, and are always amazed that God is able to do such amazing things through such ordinary people.   Tom and Wendy have 4 incredible children, and 7 awesome grandchildren.

What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge?  Tom & Wendy’s initial contact with FEI was in 1990, when they saw that FEI’s core belief is that the Gospel is both Preaching (or declaration) and Doing Good Works (or demonstration).  That’s something that the Hogans have always believed, and that drew them to connect with FEI’s mission.  Forward Edge is both a ministry and a family, and the Hogans feel like they have been “adopted” into this family, and that they “belong”.

If you could have dinner with any person in history (excluding Jesus) who would it be and why?

Both Wendy and Tom would chose to dine with King David.  Tom, because he identifies with David’s passion for worship, and zeal for the presence of God.  Wendy, because she wants to sit and listen to David’s heart, and discover what moved David to become a lover of God.

What is something about you others are often surprised to learn?

Wendy loves to Zumba Dance in her free time.  Tom’s favorite animal in the world is …..  Arabian Horses!  Or maybe Sandhill Cranes.  Or Prairie Bison … Too any to chose from!

 

Nicaragua


Gloria Sequeira

Director of Forward Edge Nicaragua
Bio

Gloria Sequeira

Director of Forward Edge Nicaragua

Bio: Gloria started working with FEI in 2000, she worked as team coordinator where she hosted teams and managed projects. Gloria married her husband, Wilbert, in 2006. Gloria and Wilbert, along with their two kids Jacob and Naomi serve at the Villa Esperanza – a home for girls at risk. Her passion is for girls and what the Lord has in store for them. Gloria and Wilbert both live in Managua, Nicaragua overseeing the Villa Esperanza.         

What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge? I was drawn to work with Forward Edge because I learned through them that God uses ordinary people like her to do extraordinary things, the simplicity to serve God using what we have and the truth of being ourselves in the process   

If you could have dinner with any person in history (excluding Jesus) who would it be and why? Dinner with my dad who is no longer alive. He taught me so many things but I still have so many questions for him.                 

What is something about you others are often surprised to learn? I have a sense of humor, people think I don’t have one.

Wilbert Alvarado

Director of Forward Edge Nicaragua
Bio

Wilbert Alvarado

Director of Forward Edge Nicaragua

Bio: Wilbert and Gloria met in 2003 and got married in 2006. Gloria has a passion for children, Wilbert has a passion for the youth, both had a dream to serve their country and to use their talents to help those most in need. They both helped start Villa Esperanza with Forward Edge in 2008. Wilbert helps oversee a program called Creating Positive Relationships (CPR) for the youth around the Managua region.      

What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge? I was drawn to work with Forward Edge because I am empowered to not only help the girls at the Villa but to serve the communities and schools around us. Forward Edge has helped me be light and salt to Nicaragua.  

If you could have dinner with any person in history (excluding Jesus) who would it be and why? Mother Teresa, I would have so many questions to ask her. She gave so much and had so little.   

Susie Miller

Nicaragua Field Coordinator
Bio

Susie Miller

Nicaragua Field Coordinator

Bio: Susie is originally from Portland, Oregon. She worked as a hairstylist for seventeen years before the Lord called her to the mission field in 2007 to Managua, Nicaragua, working as field staff at Villa Esperanza. Her primary role is coordinating short term mission teams that serve in and around the community of the Villa.  Susie also serves as our Child Sponsorship representative at Villa Esperanza. She helps facilitate communication between girls in our rescue home program and their sponsors, as well as keeps FEI headquarters undated with new information about the girls and Villa Esperanza in general.  

What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge? I went on a FEI mission trip in 2005 to Managua, and three days in I was hooked. The Lord was clear in showing me where He wanted me to fulfill my purpose for Him in that moment. I said “yes” to Him, and the adventure began!     

If you could have dinner with any person in history (excluding Jesus) who would it be and why? Moses. It took courage to lead his people out of Egypt, and betray (or what seemed like it) the family that raised him. To struggle with the Israelite’s unbelief time after time for years, but still maintaining his faith in what God had planned for him and his people.

What is something about you others are often surprised to learn? I was a cheerleader in high school, and I have run two marathons.

Paul Barmaksezian

Assistant Director
Bio

Paul Barmaksezian

Assistant Director

Bio: Paul has been involved in ministry and missions since his high school years.  He and his wife, Ani, have been working closely with Forward Edge since 2010.  Paul and Ani accepted a calling to serve as Field Staff in Managua, Nicaragua in September 2011, where they now reside with their two children, Michelle and Luke.

Prior to working with Forward Edge, Paul was a founding partner in a technology consulting firm; he now uses his business and technology skills to help manage operations at Villa Esperanza. 

What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge? Through short-term trips to Nicaragua with Forward Edge, I understood that God uses short-term mission experiences to give His people a new worldview and a new heart for those in need. My wife and I were both drawn to simply live the mission God called them to, and Forward Edge has allowed us to live that mission and encourage others to do the same.

If you could have dinner with any person in history (excluding Jesus) who would it be and why?

If not Jesus, it’d be a toss-up between Peter and Paul.  I bet they both have some fascinating stories and answers to some deep questions.  

What is something about you others are often surprised to learn? One thing that tends to amuse folks is how big of a role puppets (yes, puppets) have played in our lives. They brought me into the mission world, and even brought my wife and I together. I owe a lot to puppets :).

Ani Barmaksezian

Missionary
Bio

Ani Barmaksezian

Missionary

Bio: Ani, wife of Paul, has been involved in ministry and missions since high school. She has been working closely with Forward Edge since 2010.  Ani accepted a calling to serve as Field Staff in Managua, Nicaragua in September 2011, where she now resides with her husband and their two children, Michelle and Luke.

Ani is currently serving as a 3rd grade teacher at a local Christian school. She has a deep love for Jesus, the people of Nicaragua, and the work God is doing at Villa Esperanza.

What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge? Through short-term trips to Nicaragua with Forward Edge, I understood that God uses short-term mission experiences to give His people a new worldview and a new heart for those in need. My husband and I were both drawn to simply live the mission God called them to, and Forward Edge has allowed us to live that mission and encourage others to do the same.

If you could have dinner with any person in history (excluding Jesus) who would it be and why?

I would say Joseph from the Old Testament, because I would want to know how he had the strength and patience to endure jail for so many years.              

What is something about you others are often surprised to learn? One thing that tends to amuse folks is how big of a role puppets (yes, puppets) has played in mine and my husband’s lives.  They brought us into the mission world, and even brought us together as a couple. I owe a lot to puppets :).

Ricardo & Leyda Hernandez

Director of Villa Esperanza Girls Program

Ricardo & Leyda Hernandez

Director of Villa Esperanza Girls Program
 

USA


Bob Johnson

Domestic Field Coordinator
Bio

Bob Johnson

Domestic Field Coordinator

Bob has been married to his wife, Diane, for 20 years. They are the parents to four adult children and are proud grandparents of two little ones. When they first met, they were still searching for Christ. After getting introduced to a local church they were both baptized and began walking in their faith. Through the church they were able to go on short-term mission trips, this  ended up sparking their passion for serving others. in 2007 Bob joined Forward Edge as the U.S. Field Coordinator and moved to Mississippi with Diane to help the survivors of hurricane Katrina rebuild their homes. Now he is able to serve God on a full time basis by working with short-term mission teams from throughout the United States. Currently, Bob and Diane spend nearly half their year traveling to different locations around the U.S. facilitating teams. Bob helps guide skilled and unskilled servants in construction tasks to rebuild homes for those struck by natural disasters. He also serves at our Baltimore location through construction and building relationships. He believes that a successful mission trip is more about the relationships that are built than the work performed. 

Brian and Carol Zimmerman

Partners in Baltimore
Bio

Brian and Carol Zimmerman

Partners in Baltimore

Pastor Brian Zimmerman and his wife Carol had a dream of “birthing a ministry that would spread throughout Baltimore and would include starting a school, building a state-of-the-art athletic complex, a residential treatment center, and anything else that could be used as a tool for reaching more lives for Christ!”

Statistics reveal a grim reality within the city: Baltimore ranks high among U.S. cities for issues such as drug use, child poverty, violence and gang activity, sex trafficking and teen pregnancy. Many youth suf-fer a sense of hopelessness, despair and lack of purpose. Baltimore is a city in great need.
The Transformation Center in the heart of Baltimore of-fers programs that will meet these pressing needs. It will serve the hungry, those stuck in the cycle of poverty, addiction, surviving with educational deficiencies, and living without a spiritual compass. The Transformation Center is committed to making a lasting difference in the local community and beyond.

Job Opportunities

There are currently no openings at this time.

How to Apply

Apply for an opening by sending in your resume and cover letter to nicoleklepec@forwardedge.org.